By David Barton
In 1983, as a naïve youth worker and concerned by what I had been reading since the early 1970s about what was happening with Aborigines in Alice Springs, I moved there to see what I could do to help. All told, I spent six years in Central Australia, leaving both depressed and convinced that the situation could never be fixed. One thing that bothered me then and still does is the constant calls for ‘self-determination’, not so much by Aborigines but by whitefella activists, some I later learned to be card-carrying members of the Communist Party and others who now hold senior positions in academia and the bureaucracy.
The contemporary definition of ‘Aboriginal self-determination’ is not about fitting in with the mainstream, of integrating or assimilating, but of splitting from mainstream Australia. Meanwhile, the rest of us get to pay for it whilst the rent seekers contribute very little to the community and Aboriginal lives, including those of children, continue to be ruined.
Continue reading at Quadrant: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/aborigines/2022/12/always-was-always-will-be-about-power/